Maryland explodes for 16 runs, stays alive by beating UMBC

UMBC starter Matt Chanin retired the first seven Maryland batters of the game and it looked like the Terps’ offensive struggles from the day before were going to continue. But the eighth batter for Maryland, Kevin Smith, drew a walk, and there was no turning back.

The Maryland Terrapins came into the game against UMBC having squandered plenty of opportunities to score the day before against WVU. They needed a spark, and Justin Morris teeing off of Chanin for a two-run blast, was just that, as the Terps went on to beat UMBC 16-2.

“That was a really big hit for us,” Head Coach John Szefc said. “We go down early, and we answered quickly.”

Morris gave the Terps a 2-1 lead at the time, and allowed Taylor Bloom to breathe. Bloom gave up a home run to Zack Bright in the second, but was lights out after that. He finished going eight innings, giving up just two runs.

“It’s always good to get that comfort of a lead,” Bloom said. “It’s very settling in my mind that I can just go out there, no pressure.”

He got all the support he needed in the fourth, which was the inning that Maryland had MBN Logobeen looking for. They scratched and clawed their way to a six-run inning, while recording just one hit.

Nick Dunn and Will Watson started the frame by walking, and after an error, Kevin Smith was at the plate with two on base.

Smith tattooed one to center to blow it open. The Terps had settled down and could finally take a deep breath. They added two more in the inning to take an 8-1 lead.

Maryland was not done, as just one inning later they extended the lead to 11-1. On a single by Brandon Gum in that inning that drove in two, Maryland set a program record for runs in an NCAA tournament game.

A memorable moment came when the game was all but decided. Team-favorite Pat Hisle got an at bat late and made the best of it. He lead off the eighth inning with a double to left, and scored soon after on Kevin Smith’s second home run of the day.

Danny Maynard started his first ever game in left field against UMBC, and the bold move by Head Coach John Szefc payed off. Maynard was one of two Terps to record multiple hits on the day.

The Terps took a patient approach to the plate Saturday against the Retrievers. Maryland finished with a whopping 13 walks, three of which came from Brandon Gum.

“We are always stressing to the guys to have good strike zone discipline,” Szefc said. “Technically it is hard to lose a game when you have that many freebees.”

Maryland with the win stays alive in the Winston-Salem regional, and eliminates UMBC. The Terps will take on the loser of the Wake Forest vs. West Virginia game Sunday at noon.